Dump application should be declined, planner says

A controversial plan for AB Lime to become the premier dump for the South has hit a hurdle after a planner recommended it be declined.

Environment Southland’s report on the company’s application for its Winton dump was released yesterday.

AB Lime, which owns and operates the landfill, applied for various consents last year.

These included a variation to remove a 100,000 tonnes-per-annum cap on the tip, as well as the inclusion of waste acceptance in emergency response situations.

It would not increase its footprint or capacity.

Report author and Pattle Delamore Partners environmental planning service leader Michael Durand recommended the application be refused, citing three main issues.

He believed not all of the actual and potential effects on the environment had been assessed, nor had the types of waste to be received, he said.

These materials included the aluminium dross waste (ADW) from the Tiwai Point smelter.

While the report he referred to noted a range of hazardous substances known to be present at the site or were likely to be there, AB Lime explicitly stated hazardous substances would not be received at the landfill, Mr Durand said.

However, the company still asked for its unlimited discharge.

"Some types of waste may be present at the Tiwai site which do not meet the definition of hazardous waste in the application’s suggested conditions but could be considered to be ADW.

"Such substances that might be received have not been assessed in the application, despite it explicitly referring to ‘other sites in Southland that may require remedial waste relocation’."

The third issue raised was that any management plan approvals would not provide sufficient environmental protection.

This included odour.

"Past complaints to AB Lime and to the council must have highlighted that odour is one of the critical effects to be effectively managed under the proposed new consent."

Notification of the application was limited to about 20 neighbouring properties, while seven submissions were received.

"Submitters are unhappy that odour effects have not been adequately managed in the past. They are also sceptical that odours will be managed effectively in the future.

"However, in the consent application a management plan has been prepared and reviewed, and agreed between technical experts to be appropriate, which will not be effective in managing the effect of odour."

Since the consent notification, the AB Lime Action Group was formed and has been vocal in opposing the application.

While she had not read it in detail, action group chairwoman Katie Allan acknowledged the report would be considered alongside other evidence.

However, it was gobsmacking to read Mr Durand’s report and its findings were significant, she said.

The group would now focus on conveying to the council its dissatisfaction over the limited notification of the application and subsequent lack of public scrutiny.

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